Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Tuesday: Fifty Shades

Well, the hot book in recent months, the one that has everyone talking has been Fifty Shades of Grey.

Haven't heard of it? Well, this erotic love story has been called "Mommy porn" and has been tops on the charts (NYT, USA Today, Amazon) for awhile now. It even got a surge on Moher's Day, with people buying this gift for Mom (I hope it's husbands; as, I'm just a bit too old fashioned to hand my mother porn, excuse me, eroita, for a gift).

The book started as Twilight fan fiction. So, basically E.L. James, a huge Twilight fan, decided to take the characters from Twilight and write a different story. The characters, now Christian and Anastasia, started off as  Edward and Bella. And like in the Twilight book, Christian keeps telling Anastasia he's bad for her, that she should stay away. While Edward felt he was bad for Bella because he was a vampire, Christian feels he's bad for Anastasia because he's into S&M and wants to tie her up and do a sundry of BDSM things to her.

We read this for my book club, and I've got to say there were varying opinions. Some people barely got through it, citing disinterest in the story and subpar writing. Others didn't just read the first one, but went through the entire trilogy (which includes Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed). What's interesting is the label or porn or erotica, is accurate in some senses.  There are very erotic scenes in the book. But, it's not all porn. The book is really very character driven.  Christian is so mentally a mess, I found myself mainly compelled to read more to find out what happened to make this dude the way he is.  The porn is interesting initially because it's one of the few insights you have into Christian. It's also interesting because, unless you're into the BDSM lifestyle, you learn about a lot of things you've never heard of or even contemplated.

So, in the sense of pulling the reader in, James does a good job. One of the criticisms at book club was the writing wasn't particularly great. Characters flush alot, and there's a lot of repetitiveness in general. Even having enjoyed the book, I can't disagree with comments about the writing. However, I didn't find it as distracting as those who disliked the book.

As far as books go, this one is an easy read, and probably worth putting on the radar if you like having read the hot book of the moment. It's available at the PG library: as of today they had 194 copies of the book. Zero of them were available. So, you'll be on a waitlist if you want it.

Anyone out there with thoughts on Fifty Shades you'd like to share?

That's it for today.

--Hyattsville Mom

Fun to do: Tomorrow (June 27)  at 7 pm, there's a free Jazz concert on the grounds of the Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road  in Riverdale Park. Check the calendar for more fun items this week. 

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